Archives for December 2014

Y mañana, cuando salga el sol, bastará sólo con repetirse a sí­ mismo:

Voy a mirar este dí­a como si fuera el primero de mi vida.
Veré a las personas de mi familia con sorpresa y asombro, alegre por descubrir que están a mi lado, compartiendo en silencio algo llamado amor, muy mencionado, poco entendido.

Pediré acompañar a la primera caravana que aparezca en el horizonte, sin preguntar hacia dónde está yendo. Y dejaré de seguirla cuando algo interesante me llame la atención.
Pasaré ante un mendigo que me pedirá una limosna. Quizás se la dé, quizás piense que se la gastará en bebida y siga adelante, escuchando sus insultos y entendiendo que ésa es su forma de comunicarse conmigo.

Pasaré ante alguien que está intentando destruir un puente. Quizás intente impedirlo, quizás entenderé que lo hace porque no tiene a nadie que le espere del otro lado, y de esa manera procura espantar su propia soledad.
Miraré a todo y a todos como si fuera la primera vez, principalmente las pequeñas cosas, a las cuales me habitué, olvidando la magia que las rodea. Las dunas del desierto, por ejemplo, que se mueven con una energí­a que no comprendo, porque no consigo percibir el viento.

En el pergamino que siempre cargo conmigo, en vez de anotar cosas que no puedo olvidar, escribiré un poema. Aunque jamás lo haya hecho y aunque nunca más lo vuelva a hacer, sabré que tuve el valor de poner mis sentimientos en palabras.
Cuando llegue a un poblado que ya conozca, entraré por un camino distinto. Estaré sonriendo, y los habitantes del lugar comentarán entre sí­: “Está loco, porque la guerra y la destrucción volvieron la tierra estéril”.

Pero yo seguiré sonriendo, porque me agrada la idea de que piensen que estoy loco. Mi sonrisa es mi forma de decir: “Pueden acabar con mi cuerpo, pero no pueden destruir mi alma”.
Esta noche, antes de partir, me dedicaré a un montón de cosas que nunca tuve la paciencia de poner en orden. Y acabaré descubriendo que ahí­ está un poco de mi historia. Todas las cartas, todas las notas, recortes y recibos cobrarán vida propia y tendrán historias curiosas, del pasado y del futuro, que contarme. Tantas cosas en el mundo, tantos caminos recorridos, tantas entradas y salidas en mi vida.

Me voy a poner una camisa que suelo usar siempre y, por primera vez, prestaré atención a la forma en que fue cosida. Imaginaré las manos que terciaron el algodón, y el rí­o en donde nacieron las fibras de la planta. Entenderé que todas esas cosas, ahora invisibles, forman parte de la historia de mi camisa.
Y aun las cosas a las cuales estoy habituado, como los zapatos que se transformaron en una extensión de mis pies después de mucho usarlos, se revestirán del misterio del descubrimiento. Como camino en dirección al futuro, él me ayudará con las marcas que quedaron cada vez que tropecé en el pasado.
Que todo lo que toque mi mano, vean mis ojos y pruebe mi boca sea diferente, aun cuando siga igual. Así­, todas las cosas dejarán de ser naturaleza muerta y me explicarán por qué han estado conmigo tanto tiempo, y manifestarán el milagro del rencuentro con emociones que ya habí­an sido desgastadas por la rutina.

Probaré el té que nunca bebí­ porque me dijeron que era malo. Pasaré por una calle que nunca pisé porque me dijeron que no tení­a nada interesante. Y descubriré si quiero volver ahí­.
Quiero mirar el sol por primera vez, si mañana hiciera sol.

Quiero mirar hacia dónde caminan las nubes, si el tiempo estuviera nublado. Siempre creo que no tengo tiempo para eso o no le presto la suficiente atención. Pues bien, mañana me concentraré en el camino de las nubes o en los rayos del sol y en las sombras que provocan.
Encima de mi cabeza existe un cielo con respecto al cual la humanidad entera, a lo largo de miles de años de observación, tejió una serie de explicaciones razonables.

Pues me olvidaré de todas las cosas que aprendí­ sobre las estrellas, y ellas se transformarán de nuevo en ángeles, o en niños, o en cualquier cosa en la que tenga ganas de creer en ese momento.
El tiempo y la vida me dieron muchas explicaciones lógicas para todo, pero mi alma se alimenta de misterios. Yo necesito el misterio, ver en el trueno la voz de un dios embravecido, aunque muchos consideren que eso es una herejí­a.
Quiero llenar de nuevo mi vida de fantasí­a, porque un dios embravecido es más curioso, aterrador e interesante que un fenómeno explicado por sabios.

Por primera vez sonreiré sin culpa, porque la alegrí­a no es un pecado.
Por primera vez evitaré todo lo que me hace sufrir, porque el sufrimiento no es una virtud.

No me quejaré de la vida diciendo: todo es igual, no puedo hacer nada por cambiar. Porque estoy viviendo este dí­a como si fuera el primero, y descubriré a lo largo de él cosas que jamás supe que estaban ahí­.
Aunque ya haya pasado por los mismos lugares incontables veces, y dicho “Buenos dí­as” a las mismas personas, hoy mis “Buenos dí­as” serán diferentes. No serán palabras educadas, sino una manera de bendecir a los demás, deseando que todos comprendan la importancia de estar vivos, aun cuando la tragedia nos ronda y nos amenaza.
Prestaré atención a la letra de la música que el rapsoda canta en la calle, aunque las personas no lo estén escuchando porque tienen el alma sofocada por el miedo. La música dice: “El amor reina, pero nadie sabe dónde está su trono / para conocer el lugar secreto, primero tengo que someterme a él”.
Y tendré el coraje de abrir la puerta del santuario que conduce hasta mi alma.

Que me mire a mí­ mismo como si fuera la primera vez que estuviera en contacto con mi cuerpo y con mi alma.
Que sea capaz de aceptarme como soy. Una persona que camina, que siente, que habla como cualquier otra, pero que, a pesar de sus faltas, tiene valor.
Que me admire de mis gestos más simples, como conversar con un desconocido. De mis emociones más frecuentes, como sentir la arena tocando mi rostro cuando sopla el viento que viene de Bagdad. De los momentos más tiernos, como contemplar a mi mujer durmiendo a mi lado e imaginar lo que está soñando.
Y si estuviera solo en la cama, llegaré hasta la ventana, miraré el cielo y tendré la certeza de que la soledad es una mentira: el Universo me acompaña.
Entonces habré vivido cada hora del dí­a como una sorpresa constante para mí­ mismo. Este Yo que no fue creado ni por mi padre, ni por mi madre, ni por mi escuela, sino por todo aquello que he vivido hasta hoy, que olvidé de repente y que estoy descubriendo de nuevo.

Y aunque éste sea mi último dí­a en la Tierra, aprovecharé al máximo todo lo que pueda, porque lo viviré con la inocencia de un niño, como si estuviera haciendo todo por primera vez.

(parte del libro EL MANUSCRITO ENCONTRADO EN ACCRA )

VIV

Et demain, quand le soleil se lèvera, il suffira de se répéter :

Personne ne peut revenir en arrière, mais tout le monde peut aller de l’avant.

Je vais regarder cette journée comme si c’était la première de ma vie.
Voir les membres de ma famille avec surprise et émerveillement “” joyeux de découvrir qu’ils sont í  mes cí´tés, partageant en silence quelque chose qui s’appelle amour, dont on parle beaucoup et que l’on comprend mal.

Je demanderai d’accompagner la première caravane qui se présentera í  l’horizon, sans m’informer de la direction qu’elle prend. Et je cesserai de la suivre quand quelque chose d’intéressant attirera mon attention.
Je passerai près d’un mendiant qui me demandera une pièce. Je la donnerai peut-íªtre ou bien je penserai qu’il va tout dépenser en vin et je ne m’arríªterai pas “” écoutant ses insultes et comprenant que c’est sa manière de communiquer avec moi.

Je passerai près de quelqu’un qui tente de détruire un pont. J’essaierai peut-íªtre de l’en empíªcher, ou bien je comprendrai qu’il fait cela parce que personne ne l’attend de l’autre cí´té, et qu’il veut chasser ainsi sa solitude.

Je regarderai tout et tout le monde comme si c’était la première fois “” surtout les petites choses, auxquelles je me suis habitué en oubliant la magie qui les entoure. Les dunes du désert, par exemple, qui se déplacent avec une énergie que je ne comprends pas, parce que je ne peux pas distinguer le vent.
Sur le parchemin que j’emporte toujours avec moi, plutí´t que de noter des choses que je ne peux pas oublier, j’écrirai un poème. Míªme si je n’ai jamais fait cela un jour et míªme si je ne le fais plus jamais, je saurai que j’ai eu le courage de mettre mes sentiments en mots.

Lorsque j’arriverai dans un village que je connais déjí , j’entrerai par un chemin différent. Je serai souriant et les habitants des lieux se diront entre eux : « Il est fou, parce que la guerre et la destruction ont rendu la terre stérile. »
Mais je continuerai í  sourire, parce que l’idée qu’ils pensent que je suis fou me plaí®t. Mon sourire est ma manière de dire : « Ils peuvent donner le dernier coup í  mon corps, mais ils ne peuvent pas détruire mon í¢me. »
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Cette nuit, avant de partir, je vais me consacrer í  un tas de choses que je n’ai jamais eu la patience de mettre en ordre. Et je finirai par découvrir que lí  se trouve un peu de mon histoire. Toutes les lettres, toutes les notes, coupures et reí§us prendront vie et auront des histoires curieuses “” du passé et de l’avenir “” í  me raconter. Tant de choses dans le monde, tant de chemins parcourus, d’entrées et de sorties dans ma vie.
Je vais mettre une chemise que je porte toujours et, pour la première fois, príªter attention í  la faí§on dont elle est cousue. J’imaginerai les mains qui ont tissé le coton, et la rivière dans laquelle les fibres de la plante ont poussé. Je comprendrai que toutes ces choses maintenant invisibles font partie de l’histoire de ma chemise.

Et míªme les choses auxquelles je suis habitué “” comme les chaussures qui sont devenues une extension de mes pieds après avoir beaucoup servi “” seront revíªtues du mystère de la découverte. Comme je marche vers l’avenir, il m’aidera avec les marques qui sont restées chaque fois que j’ai trébuché dans le passé.
qu’on m’avait dit qu’il était mauvais. Je me promènerai dans une rue oí¹ je n’ai jamais mis les pieds parce qu’on m’avait dit qu’elle n’avait rien d’intéressant. Et je découvrirai si je veux y revenir.

Je veux regarder pour la première fois le soleil, si demain il fait soleil.
Je veux regarder oí¹ vont les nuages, si le temps est nuageux. Je pense toujours que je n’en ai pas le temps, ou je ne fais pas assez attention. Eh bien, demain je me concentrerai sur le chemin des nuages ou sur les rayons du soleil et les ombres qu’ils provoquent.
Au-dessus de ma tíªte il y a un ciel au sujet duquel toute l’humanité, au long de milliers d’années d’observation, a construit une succession d’explications raisonnables.
Eh bien, j’oublierai tout ce que j’ai appris concernant les étoiles, et elles redeviendront des anges, des enfants, ou autre chose si j’ai envie d’y croire í  ce moment.
Le temps et la vie m’ont donné beaucoup d’explications logiques pour tout, mais mon í¢me se nourrit de mystères. J’ai besoin du mystère, d’entendre dans le tonnerre la voix d’un dieu enragé, ce que beaucoup ici considèrent pourtant comme une hérésie.
Je veux remettre de la fantaisie dans ma vie, parce qu’un dieu en colère est beaucoup plus curieux, terrifiant et intéressant qu’un phénomène expliqué par des savants.

Pour la première fois, je sourirai sans culpabilité, parce que la joie n’est pas un péché.
Pour la première fois, j’éviterai tout ce qui me fait souffrit, parce que la souffrance n’est pas une vertu.
Je ne me plaindrai pas de la vie en disant : tout est pareil, je ne peux rien faire pour changer. Parce que je vis ce jour comme si c’était le premier et je découvrirai tout au long des choses dont je n’ai jamais su qu’elles se trouvaient lí .
Bien que je sois déjí  passé par les míªmes lieux un nombre incalculable de fois et aie dit « Bonjour » aux míªmes personnes, aujourd’hui mon « Bonjour » sera différent. Ce ne seront pas des mots de politesse, mais une manière de bénir les autres, le désir que tous comprennent qu’il est important que nous soyons en vie, míªme quand la tragédie rí´de autour de nous et nous menace.

Je príªterai attention au texte de la chanson que le poète chante dans la rue, míªme si les gens ne l’écoutent pas parce que leur í¢me est étouffée par la peur. La chanson dit : « L’amour est roi, mais personne ne sait oí¹ est son trí´ne/ Pour connaí®tre le lieu secret, je dois d’abord me soumettre í  lui. »
Et j’aurai le courage d’ouvrir la porte du sanctuaire qui mène jusqu’í  mon í¢me.

Je dois me regarder comme si j’étais pour la première fois en contact avec mon corps et mon í¢me.
Je dois íªtre capable de m’accepter comme je suis. Une personne qui marche, qui sent, qui parle comme n’importe quelle autre, mais qui “” malgré ses erreurs “” a du courage.
Je dois m’étonner de mes gestes les plus simples, comme de parler í  un inconnu. De mes émotions les plus fréquentes, comme sentir le sable frapper mon visage quand souffle le vent qui vient de Bagdad. Des moments les plus tendres, comme contempler ma femme endormie près de moi et imaginer son ríªve.

Et si je suis seul au lit, j’irai jusqu’í  la feníªtre, je regarderai le ciel et j’aurai la certitude que la solitude est un mensonge “” l’Univers m’accompagne.
Alors j’aurai vécu chaque heure du jour comme une surprise constante pour moi. Ce Moi qui n’a été créé ni par mon père ni par ma mère, mais par tout ce que j’ai vécu jusqu’í  ce jour, que j’ai soudain oublié et que je redécouvre.

Et míªme si je vis mon dernier jour sur la Terre, j’en profiterai autant que je pourrai, parce que j’aurai l’innocence d’un enfant, comme si je faisais tout pour la première fois.

extrait du livre LE MANUSCRIT RÉTROUVÉ

Tomorrow…

No one can go back, but everyone can go forward.

And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourselves is:
I am going to think of this year as the first year of my life.

I will look on the members of my family with surprise and amazement, glad to discover that they are by my side, silently sharing that much-talked-about, but little understood thing called love.

I will pass a beggar, who will ask me for money. I might give it to him or I might walk past thinking that he will only spend it on drink, and as I do, I will hear his insults and know that it is simply his way of communicating with me.

I will pass someone trying to destroy a bridge. I might try to stop him or I might realise that he is doing it because he has no one waiting for him on the other side and this is his way of trying to fend off his own loneliness.

I will look at everything and everyone as if for the first time, especially the small things that I have grown used to, quite forgetting the magic surrounding them. The desert sands, for example, which are moved by an energy I cannot understand – because I cannot see the wind.

Instead of noting down things I’m unlikely to forget on the notebook I always carry with me, I will write a poem. Even if I have never written one before and even if I never do so again, I will at least know that I once had the courage to put my feelings into words.

When I reach a small village that I know well, I will enter it by a different route. I will be smiling, and the inhabitants will say to each other: ‘He must be mad, because war and destruction have left the soil barren.’

But I will keep smiling, because it pleases me to know that they think I am mad. My smile is my way of saying: ‘You can destroy my body, but not my soul.’

Tonight, before leaving, I’m going to spend time sorting through the pile of things I never had the patience to put in order. And I will find that a little of my history is there.
All the letters, the notes, cuttings and receipts will take on their own life and have strange stories to tell me – about the past and about the future. All the different things in the world, all the roads travelled, all the entrances and exits of my life.

I am going to put on a shirt I often wear and, for the first time, I am going to notice how it was made. I am going to imagine the hands that wove the cotton and the river where the fibres of the plant were born. I will understand that all those now invisible things are a part of the history of my shirt.

And even the things I am accustomed to – like the sandals which, after long use, have become an extension of my feet – will be clothed in the mystery of discovery.
Since I am heading off into the future, I will be helped by the scuff marks left on my sandals from when I stumbled in the past.

May everything my hand touches and my eyes see and my mouth tastes be different, but the same. That way, all those things will cease to be a still life and instead will explain to me why they have been with me for such a long time; and they will reveal to me the miracle of re-encountering emotions worn smooth by routine.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Kingdom of God

 

By the Trappist monk Thomas Merton (in Open Questions):

“The kingdom of God is the kingdom of love. But if the possibility of a decent standard of living doesn’t exist and there is lack of freedom, justice and education in human society, how can we build this kingdom of love?”

“A starving man isn’t in conditions to think of God “” unless as an escape of his own problems, and this doesn’t seem to me an act of faith. There are saints who overcame their adversities, even under conditions considered impossible for ordinary men.”

“Nevertheless, the kingdom of God isn’t limited to saints, but to ordinary people like us. We have to seek “” even if for the sake of egoism “” to build a better world for our fellow men: our inner despair will diminish and our lives will begin to have more meaning. Living together with happy people will make everything easier for ourselves.”

Two masters

Always smile 

Someone said to William James, an American philosopher and psychologist: “You are the only happy person I know: you always have a smile on your lips, even when facing great difficulties.”

“I am not always smiling because I am happy,” answered William James. “I am happy because I am always smiling.”

Wise man’s answer 

A king asked Saadi of Shiraz: “While travelling through the cities of my country, do you use to think of me and about my works?”

“Oh King, I think of you, whenever I forget about God,” was the wise man’s answer.

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

GENEVA – The bestselling author said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that he was prepared to make himself an example “” even if it meant inviting criticism and potential threats “” if Sony Pictures had taken him up on his $100,000 offer for the rights to its cancelled film.

Defending these values is a matter of the highest concern for “everyone on the planet, everyone who believes in freedom of expression,” he said, drawing parallels with the plight of fellow author Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after his novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from the Iranian government.

His plan was to release the film on his blog in the unlikely event Sony took him up on his spontaneous offer via Twitter for the controversial film “The Interview” that Sony cancelled after threats from anonymous hackers.

“I thought that they could take the offer so as not to lose face,” Coelho said. “You know, ‘In a gesture of good will, we are going to accept $100,000 even if we put $44 million in this movie because we believe in freedom of information.’ … Tomorrow the film would be there.”

The author of “The Alchemist” acknowledged he would have been afraid if he had released the film, particularly because he travels and could be vulnerable, but he would have been more ashamed of himself if he didn’t at least try.

“So live with fear or live with shame? Better to live with fear,” he said at his luxury Geneva home, where his phone and Internet service were mysteriously out of service in an apparent attack directed at him. “In the name of something that is more important than I am, as a physical person.”

Sony defended its decision after President Barack Obama said during a press conference that the studio had “made a mistake” in dropping “The Interview,” a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to the attack that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

Sony said the cancellation happened only because the country’s top theatre chains pulled out. “This was their decision,” Sony said in a statement.

Coelho made clear he wasn’t defending the movie itself but rather that he decried the “culture of fear” and apparent willingness to “negotiate with terrorists” that he said undercuts people’s freedom of expression and the principle of not negotiating with terrorists. He also expressed admiration for actor George Clooney’s attempt to highlight the same values of sticking one’s neck out to defend our freedom of information by putting forward a petition for Hollywood bigwigs to sign “” though none did.

Clooney said the entertainment industry should seek release of “The Interview” online, telling the trade site Deadline that he urged Sony to “do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part.”

Coelho said he was unable to reach any executives to discuss the decision not to screen the film before a projected Dec. 25 release, but he thinks the studio ignored his offer because of fear that more Sony hacked emails would be divulged.

“What I’m doing here is much more a kind of political statement: fight for you rights,” he said. “We live in a moment where fear rules, and this cannot continue.”

Fighting injustice

By Paulo Coelho

T.H. Huxley says:

“The consequences of our actions are scarecrows for the cowards and beams of light for the wise. The world is a chessboard. The pieces are the gestures of daily life, the rules are the so-called laws of nature.”

Although he concentrates on what he is doing, the warrior of the light does not look on injustice with indifference. He knows that everything is one thing alone, that each individual action affects all the men on the planet, and if he sees someone being a victim of cowardly attacks, he uses his sword to put things in order.

But although he fights against oppression, at no moment does he try to judge the oppressor. Each one will answer for his acts before God, and that is why, once his task is accomplished, the warrior makes no further comment. A warrior of the light is in the world to help his brothers, not to condemn his neighbors.

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A day at the mill

By Paulo Coelho

At the moment my life is a symphony made up of three different movements: “many people,” “some people,” and “hardly anybody.” Each of these movements lasts about four months a year; they often come together during the same month, but they never get mixed up.

“Many people” are those moments when I am in touch with the public, editors and journalists. “Some people” happens when I go to Brazil, meet my old friends, walk along Copacabana beach, attend the occasional social event, but as a rule I stay at home.

But today I just want to dwell a little on the “hardly anybody” movement. Night has already descended on this small town of 200 people in the Pyrenees whose name I would rather keep a secret and where I recently bought an old mill transformed into a house. I wake up every morning to the roosters crowing, have my breakfast and go out for a walk among the cows and lambs and through the fields of wheat and hay. I contemplate the mountains and – unlike the “many people” movement – never try to think who I am. I have no answers, no questions, I live entirely for the present moment, in the understanding that the year has four seasons (yes, it may seem so obvious, but sometimes we forget that), and I transform myself like the landscape all around me.

At this moment I have no great interest in what is going on in Iraq, or Syria, or Afghanistan: like any other person who lives in the countryside, the most important news is the weather. Everyone who lives in this small village knows if it is going to rain, turn cold, or be very windy, because all that has a direct effect on their lives, their plans, their crops. I pass a farmer tending his field, we exchange a “good morning,” discuss the weather forecast and then go about what we were doing – he at his plough, I on my long walk.

I head back home, check the mail-box, the local newspaper informs me that there is a dance in the next village, a lecture in a bar in Tarbes – the big city with all of its 40,000 inhabitants (the firemen had been called out because a garbage bin had caught on fire during the night). The topic that is mobilizing the region involves a group accused of cutting down the plane trees that had caused the death of a young man riding his motorbike on a country road; this piece of news fills a whole page and several days of reporting about the “secret command” that is bent on revenging the death of the young biker by destroying the trees.

I lie down beside the brook that runs through my mill.

I rise and go to practice kyudo, the form of meditation with the bow and arrow that occupies me for an hour. It’s already lunchtime: I have a light meal and then notice a strange object in one of the rooms of the old building, with a screen and a keyboard, all connected – wonder of wonders – with a super-speed DSL line. I know that as soon as I press a button on that machine, the world will come to me.

I resist as long as I am able but then the moment is reached when my finger touches the “on” button and here I go again connected to the world, newspaper columns, books, interviews requests (I decided no to give more than 3 interviews a year),the news from Iraq and Afghanistan, requests, the message that the airline ticket will be arriving tomorrow, decisions to put off, and decisions to take.

For a few hours I work, because that is what I chose to do, because that is my personal legend, because a warrior of the light is aware of his duties and responsibilities. But in the “hardly anybody” movement, everything that appears on the computer screen is very distant, just as the mill seems to be a dream when I am in the “many people” or “some people” movements.

The sun starts to hide itself away, the button is turned to “off”, the world goes back to being just fields, the scent of the herbs, the mooing of the cows and the shepherd’s voice bringing his flock home to the shed at the side of the mill.

I wonder how I can move about in two such different worlds in the space of a single day: the answer escapes me, yet I know this brings me great pleasure and it makes me happy while I write down these lines.

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Words to the wind

________________________
EM PORTUGUES: Palavras ao vento
_______________________

I was feeling very lonely when I left Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral right in the heart of New York.

Suddenly I was approached by an American:

“You are Mr. Coelho. I very much need to talk to you,” she said.

I was so enthused by this meeting that I began to talk about everything that was important to me. I spoke of magic, God’s blessings, love.
She listened to everything in silence, thanked me and went away.

Instead of feeling happy, I felt lonelier than before. Later on I realized that in my enthusiasm I had not paid any attention to what that Brazilian wanted.

Talk to me.

I tossed my words to the wind, because that was not what the Universe was wanting at that moment: I would have been much more useful if I had listened to what she had to say.

Cobwebs

When I was travelling the road to Rome, one of the four sacred roads in my magical tradition, I realised, after almost twenty days spent entirely alone, that I was in a much worse state than when I had started.
In my solitude, I began to have mean, nasty, ignoble feelings.

I sought out my guide to the road and told her about this. I said that when I had set out on that pilgrimage, I had thought I would grow closer to God, but that, after three weeks, I was feeling a great deal worse.

‘You are getting better, don’t worry,’ she said.
‘The fact is that when we turn on our inner light, the first thing we see are the cobwebs and the dust, our weak points.

“They were there already, it’s just that you couldn’t see them in the darkness. Now it will be much easier for you to clean out your soul.’

Some questions and answers

Google Alerts is great. Sometimes I found things about myself that I did not expect. Today I found an old interview for an Indian newspaper – and here are some Q&A

Could you recall from your life where you felt the feminine face of God?

It was in 1992, when I was sitting inside of a grotto, in Lourdes. Since then, I try to accept my feminine side. When I write, I am a woman. I got pregnant from life, and I don’t know how the baby looks like. My pregnancy cycle lasts for two years, and I don’t take notes, I don’t make plans. The only thing that I know is that life put inside me a seed that will grow when time comes. Then, when time comes, I sit and write. Every creative act demands a respect for mystery, and I respect the mystery, without trying to understand it.

What do you feel when readers hug you and confess in public how the book had changed their lives?

First and foremost, I am a writer – and a writer is always facing the challenge of a new book. This is, for me, what makes life interesting: there is always a new book to be written, which involves pain, joy, suffering, relief, feelings of a person who is alive. I don’t think why this or that happened, and I became a worldwide celebrity. I think: “Am I honest in which I am doing? Can I still talk to my soul?
The secret of the success of my books, if there is one; it is the absence of secrets.

Did you expect this world wide success?
When I wrote “The Alchemist”, I was trying to understand my own life, and the only way that I could do it was through a metaphor. Then, the book – with no support of the press, because the media normally refuses to publish anything about an unknown writer – made its way to the readers, and the readers start to discover that we share the same questions. Little by little, the book started to travel abroad, and today is one of the best seller books of all times. But this success came slowly, based on a word-of-mouth promotion, and this gives me the sensation, the wonderful sensation that I am not alone.


In an Interview with Juan Arias of El Paí­s you confessed that, “Happiness to me is very abstract, To tell you the truth, I am never happy”.

The fact that I don’t search for happiness, does not mean that unhappiness is the choice. The right choice is “joy”. Challenges, defeats, victories, excitement, never being bored by this peaceful Sunday afternoon “happiness”.

As a best-selling author how far has consumerism affected you. You have to go through a corporate capitalist structure.

As Buddha said, first you have to have, then you can renounce everything. It is easy to make a chastity vow if you are impotent. Easier to make a poverty vow if you are incapable of earning money with your choice, your dream. I could buy a castle, but I bought a watermill, not because I feel guilty – I work hard – but because a watermill is close to my way of seeing life, and easier to maintain. As for my work, no publisher dares to ask me anything – I don’t see the point of “corporate capitalist structure”.

In The Alchemist you have said that you have to pay a price for the perusal of ones dream. What’s the price you paid in the journey with your dream?

A very high one. But I am glad that I paid this price for my dream, instead of paying the price of living someone else’s dreams.

You have been into an asylum twice. People like Michael Foucault have written about the power discourses that create madness. How do you see you days in the asylum?

I cannot summarize that. I wrote a whole book on my experience, “Veronica Decides to Die”. But one thing I can say: it was not a traumatic experience, to begin with. It was in my path, I had to see it as something that I must overcome, not as something I was victimized by.

If you meet a person who has a deep sense of worthlessness, who is broken, and has decided to end her life, what would you tell her?

Dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.

10 SEC READ:True importance (ENG, ESPA, PORT)


Illustration by Ken Crane

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EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > De la utilidad
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI > A verdadeira importí¢ncia
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Jean was out walking with his grandfather in Paris.
At one point, they saw a shoemaker being insulted by a customer who claimed that there was something wrong with his shoes.
The shoemaker calmly listened to his complaints, apologised and promised to make good the mistake.

 
Jean and his grandfather stopped to have a coffee.
At the next table, the waiter asked a man if he would mind moving his chair slightly so that he could get by.
The man erupted in a torrent of abuse and refused to move.

 
‘Never forget what you have seen,’ said Jean’s grandfather.
‘The shoemaker accepted the customer’s complaint, while this man next to us did not want to move.

‘People who perform some useful task are not bothered if they hear some critics to their work, but people who do no useful work at all always think themselves very important and hide their incompetence behind their authority.’

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

Quotes on love

“Inspirational quotes of love by Paulo Coelho … Healing music from Tom Kenyon .. Pictures all my own .. except the first one of Paulo Coelho …..”

Just found it in my Google Alerts. Thank you Weirena, and congratulations for your beautiful photos!

Wisdom

According to the dictionary: deep knowledge of things, natural or acquired; erudition; rectitude.

According to the New Testament: But it was what the world calls foolish that God chose to put the wise to shame with, and it was what the world calls weak that God chose to shame its strength with (Corinthians 1: 25-27).

According to Islam:
A wise man became a object of irony for the inhabitants of the city. One day he was walking down the main street with some of his disciples when a group of men and women began to insult him. The wise man went up to them and blessed them.

When they left, one of the disciples remarked: “They say terrible things, and you answer them with nice words.”
And the wise man replied: “Each one of us can only offer what he has.”

According to the Hassidic (Jewish) tradition: When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: “Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?” God answered: “Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them.”
“Show me this man’s interpretation,” asked Moses.

The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. One pupil asked: “Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?”
“I don’t know.” Replied Akiva. “And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom.”

A scene that I witnessed in 1997: Hoping to impress his master, a student of the occult whom I know read some manuals on magic and decided to buy the materials mentioned in the texts. With considerable difficulty he managed to find a certain type of incense, some talismans, a wooden structure with sacred characters written in an established order.
When we were having breakfast together with his master, the latter commented:
“Do you believe that by rolling computer wires around your neck you will acquire the efficiency of the machine? Do you believe that by buying hats and sophisticate clothes you will also acquire the good taste and sophistication of those who made them?

“Objects can be your allies, but they do not contain any type of wisdom. First practice devotion and discipline, and everything else will come to you later.”

Did you walk a path that wasn’t yours?


photo by Paulo Coelho

Have you ever felt that – without regret – you have chosen and are on the wrong path, and though you wish to be free of it, abandoning this road will cause much more chaos and hurt than staying on it? (Sue-Ann Marquis)

I had moments in my life that I absolutely knew that I was on the wrong path. For instance, when I became an executive for a record company.
My paycheck was good, I had a woman I loved next to me but… something vital was missing.

For a time, I had the impression that if I let go, it would cause much hardship for us. But inevitably the situation got unsustainable. I was truly unsatisfied with my life and started to notice that my soul was dying in the process.

I decided then to leave my job and travel for 6 months across Europe with Christina (this was back in 1982). This initial travel enabled me to encounter my master in Germany, then Amsterdam. From this moment on, I focused on trying to get as close as I could to my calling: being a writer.

However, it took an extra 4 years to actually be able to tell a story – my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella ( The Pilgrimage).
So – in order to answer your question: yes, I walked a path that wasn’t mine. I felt scared to leave this path that I knew so well. But the moment I stepped out, it turned out that all the demons I expected to face weren’t there at all. I had hardships of course, but all was worthwhile – because my soul was alive.